Saturday, June 4, 2016

Barnett Chapel United Methodist Church

Barnett Chapel United Methodist Church, 710 Paschal Street, was established in 1896. It is the oldest historically black church in Kerrville.   Due to segregation, there were no schools or churches for non-whites for the first four decades of the county’s existence.  The black community was very small.  Four of the first black families in Kerrville were the Buckners, the Robinsons, the Butlers, and the Blankses.  Recognizing the need for a church and school, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Barnett were instrumental in organizing the first religious observances, first in homes then in a small, one room building in 1897. Later the congregation met in an old schoolhouse.
In 1898 they bought the land they still own today and have worshiped at this location continually since. The present house of worship was erected in 1963, adding a parsonage in 1976 and a multi-purpose building in 1982.
Josephine Barnett, whose name the church carries, was one of the original church trustees. The others were Levi Butler, Z. T. Wilson, and James Askey
Circuit-riding ministers from Bandera, Uvalde and Fredericksburg preached the early services until 1902 when the Reverend W. M. Mosby, a Methodist, was assigned as the first minister to Barnett Chapel.
Barnett Chapel has been an active participant in Kerrville since its earliest years. Notable programs have included Juneteenth and Heritage celebrations, youth programs, emergency relief, Women’s Conferences, musical programs, evangelism and outreach, and community-wide interracial programs.  Through its many years of service and mission, the church has had a significant impact on the community and region.

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